Written by BoNhia Lee, University Communications


Colleen Busby’s 4-year-old brother, Ian, was killed in a drunk driving crash in Visalia 26 years ago.

When the woman who caused the crash came up for parole, Busby, who was then a high school senior, accompanied her mother to the hearing. That day changed her life.

“It was a very transformative moment for me,” Busby said. “It was the day I decided I wanted to be an attorney. Seeing the legal process firsthand was invigorating, and I was in love with the idea of representing those who did not have a voice. As our attorney was speaking for us, he was able to truly represent our feelings about what happened and what that meant to us.”

This May, Busby will graduate from Fresno State with a bachelor’s degree in political science. She will also be the first in her family to graduate with a college degree. Then it’s on to law school. The Visalia native was accepted to 11 graduate schools, including the University of Southern California, University of California, Berkeley, UCLA, UC Davis, UC Irvine, Duke University and Georgetown.

“I’ve had the same goal since I was in high school — going to law school — and I’ve been actively working towards it,” Busby said. “My brother’s death in a drunk driving accident was a direct reason or cause for me to pursue the study of law because I got to see how it helped my mother seek justice.”

Read the full story at Fresno State News